Los Olivos

Los Olivos was most notable in the early 20th century for its stately homes and distinguished prominence among other Phoenix neighborhoods. This community showcases its signature olive trees and enduring greenery.

I have a few favorite streets in the downtown Phoenix area; They are magical and take me places. One such street is Monte Vista between 3rd and 7th Streets, home to the Los Olivos Historic district.

Los Olivos, the Spanish work for Olives, is truly special. It had to be for the City of Phoenix to create a historic district made up of a scant 14 homes.

Why Is Los Olivos Historic District So Distinctive?

Survival and diverse architectural styles are words easily attached to homes in Los Olivos Historic District. Let’s take a look at how those attributes define Los Olivos Historic District:

SURVIVAL: Los Olivos story of endurance begins in 1906 when developer/business leader Dwight Heard envisioned an exclusive subdivision in the outskirts of downtown Phoenix. He subdivided a 160 acre parcel of land with the intention of offering 5 acre estate lots to affluent Phoenicians. It was a grand idea that simply never gained momentum.

In 1909 Heard re-subdivided the land creating smaller, more affordable lots, yet held fast to his vision of a prestigious community. To achieve his goal he added deed restrictions requiring people to build expensive homes and forbidding buildings of “undesirable character.”

In the 1920’s 12 of the 14 homes that make up Los Olivos Historic District were built. The original homeowners were a mix of judges, doctors, lawyers and investment brokers. The last home was built in 1955. Many if the original homeowners remained in their homes until the early 1960’s creating a continuity of ownership not often seen. Perhaps these people’s love and commitment evolved into the same pride of ownership seen today and the survival of the 14 distinctive homes.

Diversity of Architectural Styles in Los Olivoa Historic District:

los olivos historic district phoenixA common thread in conversations about Los Olivos Historic District is the variety and character of the homes. Below is a brief look at the 14 homes.

  1. 324 E. Monte Vista: A 1915 Craftsman Style home with great classical landscaping.
  2. 332 E. Monte Vista: A 1926 Spanish Eclectic home with a pyramidal roof tower. Hard to see much of this home as it is obscured by large hedges and trees.
  3. 340 E. Monte Vista: One of the earliest homes built in 1915. It is a large 2 story Craftsman house considered to be an excellent example of a Prairie influenced Craftsman home.
  4. 341 E. Monte Vista: This home has been highly altered and the original home style is uncertain. It has both Spanish and Territorial styling in its current form. Although included in the historic district, it was not a contributing home in the national register submission.
  5. 349 E. Monte Vista: A 1925 home with many alterations. Most likely based on a bungalow theme.
  6. 350 E Monte Vista: Built in 1929, the homes is a custom one story brick home with high pitched roof. Feels like it has English Cottage underpinnings to the style.
  7. 357 E. Monte Vista (AKA 355): Built in 1935. The original design was Spanish Colonial revival and has seen several modifications. It too was a non-contributing member of the historic register submission.
  8. 360 E. Monte Vista: Built in 1955, this large red-brick ranch style home and the last home built in Los Olivos.
  9. 363 E. Monte Vista: A 1930’s Tudor Revival and often the most commented on home in the neighborhood due to its high pitched roof, matching carriage house and sheer magnitude.
  10. 366 E. Monte Vista: Built in 1929 this Craftsman Bungalow has been highly modified from the original yet still has great character.
  11. 371 E. Monte Vista: Another home that has seen much change from its original style. The current form includes both Tudor and Colonial influences. One of the nice touches is the custom iron gates that front the home and the large fountain.
  12. 374 E. Mont Vista: A 1928 Spanish Eclectic style home with a two story pyramidal tower on the west end. The matching awnings are a nice complement to the home.
  13. 380 E. Monte Vista: 1925 Craftsman Bungalow. A small home for the neighborhood and not in superior condition.
  14. 390 E. Monte Vista: 1922 Colonial Revival that may remind you of a typical home in Connecticut.

Homes For Sale In Los Olivos Historic District

If you have or are thinking about buying a home in Los Olivos you may have to be patient and quick to respond. With only 14 homes to choose from the opportunity to buy is elusive.